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Market Update

U.S. Employers Add Jobs but Participation Rate Drops, Stocks Waver

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 10:42 AM ET May 02 2014

10:40 AM New York U.S. stocks failed to build on the better-than-expected monthly payrolls increase in April. Employers at all levels added 288,000 jobs and March increase was revised higher to 203,000. However, labor participation rate declined to 35-year low of 62.8%.

Stocks opened higher on Wall Street after April payrolls data showed larger than expected increase.

S&P 500 index increased 7.27 to 1,890.75 and the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 14.52 to 4,141.90.

April Payrolls Offers Positive Surprise

Employers added 288,000 net new jobs at all levels of the economy, Labor Department reported today in Washington. Economists had estimated increase of 213,000 in a poll conducted by Ticker.com.

In a separate report, the department said jobless report declined to 6.3% as businesses expanded payrolls. The reported unemployment rate was at the lowest level since September 2008.

The monthly jobs addition was the largest since January 2012 and followed 203,000 gain in March that was revised higher by 36,000.

So far for the year, monthly payrolls increase averaged to 197,000.

The labor participation rate in April declined to 62.8% from 63.2% in March, a 35-year low after 806,000 left the labor force.

Construction industry in the month added net new 32,000 jobs and professional and business services expanded by 75,000. Retail sector added 35,000.

The movement in the professional services is closely watched as a barometer of jobs that create middle class.

World Markets]

Stocks in Tokyo trading extended weekly losses and investors remained focused on yen-trading and domestic earnings.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 27.62 or 0.2% to 14,457.51 and the Topix index slid 15.40 to 1,134.290. For the week, Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4%.

The yen closed at 102.42 against the U.S. dollar.

Auto sales in India declined in April but motorcycle sales continued to rise. Maruti Suzuki, the leading automaker in India reported sales declined 11.4%.

Bajaj Auto, the maker of scooters and motorcycles said monthly sales declined 3% to 0.37 million but Hero Motocorp sales rose 14% to 0.57 million.

U.S. Stocks in Review

Agnico Eagle Mines increased 6% to $34.32 after the mining company reported record gold production of more than 366,000 ounces and the miner added the current calendar year production is likely to exceed estimates.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc